If you are considering using a donor for fertility treatment, you are far from alone. Infertility, new family structures and women delaying pregnancy well into their 30s and beyond are some of the reasons why people get help to have the children they dream of. Fortunately, today there are many opportunities and ways to become parents, and one of them is using frozen donor eggs, which you can learn more about here.
What are donor eggs?
Donor eggs are human eggs that were donated by one woman to be used by another woman in fertility treatment. The eggs are retrieved from the egg donor’s ovaries with a needle and can later be fertilized with sperm and transferred to the woman undergoing fertility treatment with the objective of becoming pregnant.
Facts about donor eggs
- The first child born using donor eggs was reported in Australia in 1984.
- Since the first human donor egg pregnancy, there have been many advancements in assisted reproductive technologies. One of them is the ability to use frozen donor eggs instead of fresh donor eggs.
- Frozen donor eggs are kept at -196°C until they are thawed and used for fertility treatment.
- Donor eggs can be purchased online here on our website and delivered to a clinic of your choice.
- Children born with help from an egg donor will be genetically related to the egg donor, and not the birth mother. However, egg donors are not considered the mother of children born from their donations.
Who are donor eggs relevant for?
Over the years, egg donation has helped many people achieve the dream of having a child. By using donor eggs, women and couples who have a low chance or are unable to conceive naturally, due to low-quality or complete lack of eggs, get a possibility to become parents. The two main groups of people who receive donor eggs from Cryos are:
Fresh vs. frozen donor eggs
Donor eggs for fertility treatment can be either fresh or frozen. At Cryos you can purchase frozen donor eggs, which means they are already retrieved and available for use. This makes the donation process easier and more efficient than using fresh donor eggs, where you will need to sync your (or the recipient’s) cycle with the egg donor’s cycle. Frozen donor eggs can be used whenever it suits you.
If you want to learn more about fresh vs frozen donor eggs, then follow the link to our blog post on the subject or see the video below.
ICSI treatment with donor eggs
Frozen donor eggs can be used in a fertility treatment called ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection). This is an advanced type of IVF treatment with donor eggs, where one single sperm cell is injected directly into an egg in the laboratory. If the fertilised egg develops into an embryo, it is then placed in the woman’s uterus and will hopefully result in a pregnancy. The sperm cell used for the injection can either be from the woman’s male partner, from donor sperm, or - if the woman is a surrogate for a gay couple – from one of the two fathers-to-be.
Before the actual treatment, there are a few important steps to take:
- Step 1: Consider your options
Are donor eggs the right option for you? Learn more about why others use donor eggs. Before planning treatment, you must also find out which regulations apply in your country regarding egg donation. Is fertility treatment with donor eggs accessible to you in your own country, or do you need to consider alternatives such as travelling abroad? At Cryos we have great insights into different country regulations and can guide you on how to have the treatment you hope for. Contact us to learn more about your options.
- Step 2: Find the right clinic for your treatment
Cryos Cyprus Sperm & Egg Bank is a worldwide distributor of frozen donor eggs. We have a wide network of clinics offering fertility treatment with Cryos donor eggs. You can contact us to get assistance in finding a clinic that matches your preferences.
- Step 3: Find an egg donor
Once you have found your clinic, it is time to search for an egg donor. At Cryos you can choose between ID Release (anonymous) and Non-ID Release (non-anonymous) Egg Donors with a Basic or Extended Donor Profile. If you are unsure which donor type is right for you or allowed in your treatment country, you can read our guide on how to choose an egg donor.
- Step 4: Order for your treatment
When you have decided which egg donor is right for you, it is time to order donor eggs. Frozen donor eggs can be ordered online, and we recommend that you place your order as soon as possible, so we have time to coordinate with your clinic. It is also a good idea to consider making a reservation for later use if you want siblings for your child with help from the same egg donor.
Read more about how to get started with donor eggs.
Who donates eggs – and why?
There can be different reasons for donating eggs. Some of our donors have close family or friends who have had help to conceive, and some have children themselves and want to assist others to experience the same joy. Egg donation is an altruistic act, and the egg donors’ primary motivation is the joy of helping others.
All donor candidates go through a thorough screening process before being accepted as donors. Only women who are healthy both physically and mentally can become egg donors at Cryos. The women who are approved as egg donors receive a small compensation for their time and effort.
Cryos egg donors are between the age of 18 to 32 at the time of donation, but besides that, they are very different from each other in terms of ethnicity, physical characteristics, hobbies, career, etc. You can learn more about the Cryos egg donors or visit our Donor Search to see the egg donors available to you.
What is the process of egg donation?
1. Egg donor screening
When a woman applies to become an egg donor at Cryos, we ask her to fill out a detailed medical and family history questionnaire. We will then do an interview, check for infectious and hereditary diseases, and do a psychological assessment. Finally, we invite her in for a physical exam, ultrasound, and blood draw. In the end, about 4% of the donor candidates are accepted as Cryos egg donors.
Read more about our screening process for egg donors here.
2. Stimulation and monitoring
If a donor candidate is accepted as a donor, she will get medication and hormones to help stimulate the body into producing and maturing more eggs than during natural ovulation. Via ultrasound and blood tests we monitor the stimulation process closely to know when the eggs are mature.
3. Egg retrieval
When the eggs are mature, we will retrieve the eggs from the egg donor’s ovaries with a needle. This takes about 20-30 minutes and is generally painless. Around 10-20 eggs can be expected to be retrieved and suitable for freezing.
4. Freezing of donor eggs
An embryologist evaluates the eggs once they have been retrieved from the egg donor. Only mature eggs of top quality will be selected for cryopreservation – freezing and storing of the eggs. The eggs will be frozen in a process called vitrification. Vitrification means that the liquid in the egg is removed and replaced with a cryoprotectant – a substance that helps avoid freezing damages to the egg. Vitrification results in high survival numbers when the eggs are later warmed, and the overall success rate with vitrified eggs approaches that of fresh donated eggs. Once the egg is loaded with cryoprotectant it is submerged in liquid nitrogen (-196°C), where it is kept until it is purchased for use in fertility treatment.
Why choose frozen donor eggs from Cryos?
Cryos is the world’s largest sperm & egg bank, and we have more than 30 years of experience. This means that we have a wide variety of donors for you to choose from, and we offer you personal and professional guidance on every step of your path to parenthood.
- We have a wide network of partnering clinics worldwide and deliver donor eggs to more than 100 countries.
- At Cryos you get free access to see all egg donor profiles.
- On some of our donors, we offer you the possibility to see pictures of our egg donors as adults.
- Our dedicated Customer Care Team is here for you. We will be happy to guide you on how to get started with donor eggs and, when you are ready, assist you on how to choose an egg donor.
- We of course have the necessary licenses and follow well-documented and standardized quality processes to ensure that all products and services provided by us conform to all relevant requirements and meet your needs and expectations.
- We have a thorough screening process and put your safety first.
Are you considering fertility treatment with donor eggs?
We understand that planning fertility treatment is a big deal, and at Cryos we are here to help you every step of the way. Visit our Donor Search to see Cryos’ egg donors or contact us and let us help you get started. We also offer to call you for free for a talk about your personal situation and options.